‘Kathrada’s death pains me the same way as Madiba’s passing’: Winnie Mandela


“It wasn’t just the passing of another stalwart. To me‚ it was a rehash of Madiba’s passing and it was very‚ very emotional for me‚” she said.

“He was an extension of Madiba and his parting just brings finality to a chapter in the history of our struggle‚” Madikizela-Mandela added.

She was speaking at the Nelson Mandela Foundation following a commemoration for Kathrada.

Dressed in a black outfit with her head covered in a black turban‚ she had wept as her daughter‚ Zenani recalled her memories of Kathrada and her father.

Kathrada died at the Donald Gordon Hospital earlier on Tuesday morning.

The health of the 86-year-old took a turn for the worse on Monday after doctors had picked up that he had a brain clot.

Madikizela-Mandela echoed the sentiments of political activist Barbara Mosekela who said Kathrada died at a time when the country was not in a good position.

Mosekela said the nation could not say Kathrada died a happy man.

Madikizela-Mandela said wished Kathrada had not died at this particular time.

“I can imagine how pained he was that he left at this point in time. All that he had fought for is not what is going on today. It is a tragedy that he did live and saw what is happening today‚” said Madikizela-Mandela.

Last year‚ Kathrada penned a letter to President Jacob Zuma‚ imploring him to resign.

This was shortly after Zuma had removed Finance Minister‚ Nhlanhla Nene.

In the letter‚ Kathrada said he was pained to write the note as he had always been a loyal member of the ANC.

“I am not a political analyst‚ but I am now driven to ask: “Dear Comrade President‚ don’t you think your continued stay as president will only serve to deepen the crisis of confidence in the government of the country?” Kathrada wrote.

He continued: “I know that if I were in the president’s shoes‚ I would step down with immediate effect…. Today I appeal to our president to submit to the will of the people and resign.”

Meanwhile‚ Madikizela-Mandela said the country was in crisis.

“We cannot pretend that South Africa is not in crisis. Our country is in crisis and anyone who does not see that‚ they are bluffing themselves. We have very serious problems‚” she said.

The commemoration for Kathrada was attended by high profile figures‚ including former Speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala‚ human rights lawyer George Bizos and political activist Sophie de Bruyn.

TRIBUTE: Ahmed Kathrada in 26 words


 – TMG Digital

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